Manhattan janitor Daryll Deever is fixated on hard-charging TV commentator, Tony Sokolow; he tapes her commentary daily to watch after work. When a wealthy Vietnamese man, with many shady ... See full summary »
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Manhattan janitor Daryll Deever is fixated on hard-charging TV commentator, Tony Sokolow; he tapes her commentary daily to watch after work. When a wealthy Vietnamese man, with many shady connections, is murdered in the office building where Daryll works, Tony shows up to cover the story and Daryll introduce himself. She thinks he may know something, so she pursues him; he pretends he might to keep her interested. This romantic cat and mouse game goes on under the watchful eyes of the killers, who think that Daryll and Tony do know something. The killers start their own game of cat and mouse. Written by
After the film's poor box-office showing under the title of "The Janitor" in the UK its title was changed to "Eyewitness" for further theatrical releases in new territories. See more »
There is a security camera very obviously placed in the outer office outside of where the murder takes place, yet during the investigation no mention is made of it. However, perhaps (circa 1981) it's a closed-circuit, live feed only (no recordings made), and no one viewing the live security screens noticed anything unusual. See more »
Very messy, albeit it strangely entertaining eighties thriller
Despite a cast with several big names, the generically titled 'Eyewitness' has found itself very much in the wilderness - I do have to say that I'm not surprised though. While this is not a particularly bad film, it is a very odd one as it pulls together two unrelated story lines and doesn't do a very good job of it. That being said, the film is at least fairly entertaining if you can get round several moments of very suspect plotting. Basically what we get here is an awkward love triangle born out of a man's lonely lusting over a TV star and a murder that happened in the place he works. Daryll Deever is a janitor at an office building in New York City. He is obsessed with news reporter Antonia Sokolow and watches her show every night. His world is rocked when a man is murdered at the office building where he works, and in spite of the fact that he doesn't know anything about the murder; he pretends he does in order to get his crush to spend time with him. However, the killers catch wind of this and begin to follow the pair in order to stop them uncovering anything about the murder.
The two plots of this film are not evenly balanced. In fairness to writer Steve Tesich; he does focus on the more interesting of the two, but that means that the whole murder plot is put so far on the back foot that you begin to wonder what it's there for. The main plot is tied in with this murder plot...but the way this happens is extremely flimsy and way too convenient to take seriously. William Hurt heads up the cast in the central role and presents us with a likable character. Sigourney Weaver is not quite glamorous enough to convince in her role; but she has great screen presence and it is always nice to see her on screen. The rest of the cast is filled out by names such as Christopher Plummer, Morgan Freeman and James Woods. The way that the film moves can be quite irritating at times as on several occasions; things are made far too easy to guess as we are often shown something and we see the character using it in the very next scene. Despite fusing two unrelated plots; the film doesn't really manage any surprises story-wise and the ending is rather predictable. Still, in spite of its problems; there are worse ways to spend one hundred minutes and the film is at least entertaining.
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